Also the title of a movie made about the above mentioned events in 1990 and directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Robert Downey Jr. is a young pilot who is recruited by Air America after losing his US flying license and his job as a radio weather helicopter pilot. He is aghast to discover gun running, drug running and general corruption from his colleagues and superiors in Laos. Mel Gibson partners him as the older, cynical pilot who is out to milk the system for all it's worth.
Needless to say they get into several rather amusing scrapes and in the end Mel Gibson really turns out to have a heart of gold and they save lots of kiddies. Still, despite the trite plot, kudos for having made this movie in the first place instead of trying to portray the Air America crews as being on some kind of humanitarian mission (which is what the CIA still tries to pretend went on in Afghanistan in the '80s).
Gibson and Downey Jr. are pretty convincing in their own ways (i.e., not very in their uncharacterisitc roles as the meanie and the ingenue respectively) but more importantly amusing and deliver the dialogue well. There are some beautiful shots of South East Asia and quite a few action-induced giggles. Altogether not a complete waste of an evening.